So, you’re going to Paris and you’re worried about how expensive it can be to eat out in the City of Lights. Well, we were a bit concerned also, and not just about the cost, but also about the seemingly endless reviews of how “so-so” the food is in Paris. Well, we did see some awfully expensive restaurants, and we did have a few so-so meals, but thankfully we were finally pointed in the direction of Le Coin, which translates to “The Corner.” We enjoyed this small bistro so much that we returned for three consecutive nights. Hey, when you find a good thing and it’s not broken, why try to fix it.
Upon returning from Paris, I wanted to write a Tripadvisor review on Le Coin, so I looked them up and saw that they are ranked 920 out of 16,659. There sure are a lot of restaurants in Paris! As I started to read some of the reviews, I saw a wide disparity in how people viewed Le Coin. Some folks simply loved it, while others were not impressed. Some people thought it was fairly priced, and others thought it was expensive.
What I took from this is that everyone certainly has their own personal taste, and the old adage is oh so true, “you just can’t please everyone all of the time.” What I can tell you from our personal experience is that if you are looking for a small authentic French bistro in a nice neighborhood that caters to the local crowd with exceptional food at a fair price then look no further.
Had we read all of the reviews prior to our trip perhaps we would have thought it was just another average Parisian restaurant. Maybe we would have stumbled upon the place, but most likely not, given how large Paris is. Well, after three nights of dining at Le Coin I can tell you that this charming bistro is indeed something special.
In all of our travels, we have never, ever returned to a place three nights in a row. There is just something so addicting about Le Coin that seems to draw people back time and time again. Like the cute elderly couple, we met from San Francisco on our third night there who told us that they come to Paris every year and have been coming back to Le Coin for ten years. Or the two businessmen we met from Ireland who were eating there on their second consecutive night. It takes something pretty special to draw people back time and time again.
So what is it that makes Le Coin so special? For starters the food is excellent. Over the course of three evenings, our group of six tried a good portion of their extensive menu. The grilled lamb, duck, veal, chicken, homemade sausage and stuffed cabbage were all excellent choices. For dessert the crème-brulee, apple tart, and the chocolate mousse were all wonderful and a great way to cap a perfect evening.
And by the way, don’t expect to be handed a menu, it’s all up on the chalkboard in French. Nice touch I thought. But there is clearly something else going on here at Le Coin. The magic is in the two owners, Thierry and Edith. This French husband and wife team, they claimed to be just business associates, has created a unique atmosphere here in Paris, something akin to the Cheers Pub of American television lore. You know, “the place where everyone knows your name”. In my judgment I know I’ve found a good place when I see lots of locals dining there and speaking the local language. If it’s good enough for the people who live there then it’s good enough for me.
So let’s start with the totally French and debonair Thierry. We called him the schmoozer. To be honest we never really figured out what his job was? Sometimes he’s in the kitchen cooking, sometimes he’s sitting with patrons having a glass of wine, and at times he’s taking orders and greeting guests. He weaves his way around the small bistro seemingly knowing exactly where he should be at any given moment. For us, he was extremely helpful with our lack of French and a joy to interact with. He never steered us wrong when we questioned what to order and he helped to make our experience at Le Coin a memorable one.
And now on to the engaging, energetic and delightful Edith. I suspect that Edith is the glue that keeps Le Coin together and running smoothly. She greets patrons, seats them, explains the menu choices, takes orders, delivers meals and drinks, and in her free time, she even had time to talk to us about our travels in France and take a photo or two. She is an efficient machine who nicely compliments Thierry. Together they make Le Coin a completely addicting experience.
Le Coin Address
Rue de Rocher 88, 75008 Paris
+33 1 43 87 58 96
Open M - F for Lunch and Dinner
Le Coin is appropriately located on “the corner” of Rue du Rocher and Rue Larribe. They are located in the 8th district close to the Villiers Metro Station. While their dinner menu changes slightly every day you can expect to see five to ten entrée’s (appetizers), perhaps fifteen or so plats (main course) and a handful of tasty desserts. They are also open for lunch with a bustling crowd of locals stopping in. While food in Paris is generally quite expensive we felt that the average main dish cost of 14 to 17 euro was reasonable and well below many other establishments that we looked at. Le Coin is one of those hidden gems in Paris. This is one place worth seeking out and we can’t wait to return
© 2014 Bill De Giulio